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WILKES-BARRE PA - A specially-formatted 16-race harness racing card was featured on Belmont Day at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with four races held before the historic doings in Elmont NY and then the remainder starting after the big race.   The race attracting the most attention was the tenth race (held in the evening portion), a $30,000 Open pace, and there was "dancin' in the moonlight" as 2014 Pennsylvania Pacer of the Year Dancin Yankee never looked back in a 1:48.3 victory, going out in 26 and coming home in 26.4 firmly in control. George Napolitano Jr., king of the local driving colony again this year, was named on four horses in the race, and he picked the right one as the son of Yankee Cruiser raised his lifetime earnings harvest over $1.2M for trainer Josh Green and owners Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo.   In the other $30,000 Open pace, Big Boy Dreams marked himself as a 4-year-old to watch as he reduced his mark to 1:49.4 in taking another $30,000 Open pacing contest. The son of If I Can Dream made the front just past the ¼ for driver Simon Allard, set the pace, then rocketed home in 26.4 for his second straight victory after a third-place finish in the Confederation Cup Final. Trainer Rene Allard shares ownership of the winner of over half a million dollars with Robert Hamather and Mary Lou Poliseno.   The ladies were in the spotlight in the last race of the "early" card and the first race of the "later" card.   In the last race held before the Belmont, Blue Chip Matchmaker winner Venus Delight asserted a claim to be the leader of the older female division with a 1:50.2 decision in a $30,000 mares handicap pace, despite not having started since her victory in the Yonkers series final on April 25. But the daughter of Bettor's Delight and driver Jason Bartlett had to work hard for the top money, rallying out of the pocket to catch perhaps the most-improved horse of 2015, Ooh Bad Shark, to tally by a head after grabbing the lead with about 100 feet to go. The winner, who set a personal mark, is trained by Jeff Bamond Jr. for owners Bamond Racing LLC - who might get a fifth straight older pacing mares yearly title, with Anndrovette having won in the last four seasons.   After American Pharoah won the Belmont and the first thoroughbred Triple Crown in 37 years, the Broadway Hall mare Frau Blucher went 4/5 seconds faster in winning, capturing a $30,000 open trot while defeating six males and two females in 1:51.4, 2/5 of a second off her mark and the 4TM world record she set at The Downs last year. Frau Blucher, driven by George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Chris Oakes, made every pole a winning one while raising her career bankroll to $976,932 for owners Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC and Susan Oakes. (And she'd be over $1M right now but for an inch, as she was deadheated for the win by stablemate Classic Martine in the world record-DH PA Sire Stakes 3TF Championship race in 2013.)   Pocono Finishing Lines: On this 16-race card, two drivers won ten of the races, and only five drivers in all won: George Napolitano Jr. and Simon Allard both had five victories (four of Allard's were trained by brother Rene); Jason Bartlett had 3, Anthony Napolitano had 2, and Marcus Miller had 1. There were a total of seven miles in 1:50 or better on the card, topped by Dancin Yankee's 1:48.3; among the drivers, George Nap had three, and Allard two. PHHA / Pocono  

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday morning served as Opening Day for the 2015 harness racing edition of Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands. It was a beautiful, windless morning with temperatures in the 70's. There were but four two-year-old races with short fields in all.   The first race was for trotters with a field of three fillies. Royal Treason led all the way with a 28.4 sprint on the end of a mile in 202.2 for driver Tim Tetrick. She's a daughter of RC Royalty owned by trainer Paul Kelley in partnership with Charlie Iannazzo, Steve Michaels and Jim Winske. She was a $26,000 purchase at the Morrisville sale last fall.   Colt trotters came up next and the Andover Hall colt Mikkeli Hanover looked like his $130,000 Harrisburg price tag may have been a bargain. He set all fractions as driver Yannick Gingras did his best to rate the colt through a sensible 1:01 half, tacking a 28.2 final quarter on the 1:59.3 mile under wraps. He sure is big and pretty! Ron Burke trains for his Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Panhellic Stable Corp.   Also noteworthy in this race was the sharp looking Cantab Hall colt Rocky Hanover who followed along willingly to be second just a few lengths off the winner, finishing under his own power. Rocky Hanover will sell tomorrow in the Tattersalls Mixed sale as Hip #9 for trainer Tony Alagna and Steve Stewart.   A pair of Burke pacing fillies squared off in the third with Yankee Moonshine holding Eloquent Grace at bay though a sparkling 26.3 close to a 1:57.2 mile. Matt Kakaley drove the $42,000 Harrisburg Yankee Cruiser filly for Burke Racing, Stable 45, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi. The Roll With Joe filly Play Again went along nicely to be third here and she will be sold in tomorrow's sale as Hip #7.   Stolen Glimpse looked sharp, easily winning the colt pace in 1:55.3/27.2 for Gingras and Burke. The Art Major colt was a $100,000 Harrisburg purchase by Stable 45, J&T Silva and Burke Racing. No Shame Blue Chip, also sale-bound as Hip #6, set the early fractions here.   Moving on, one of last season's top freshman filly trotters and half-mile track World Record holder Wild Honey breezed a mile in 1:54.1/27.2 for Yannick. She looked fantastic today for trainer Jimmy Takter scoring a decisive open length win over the good colt Billy Flynn.   Gural Hanover (Gingras) and JL Cruze (John Campbell) came out to sharpen up for next week's second leg of the Graduate Series and sharpen up they did. Gural Hanover cut the mile as JL Cruze followed along in second through a 1:24.3 three quarters, then threw up a 27 flat last quarter to finish the 1:51.3 mile that drew a couple of "Wows" from the small crowd of attendees. JL Cruze actually closed it up a bit in the final eighth under no urging at all.   The field of pacers that lined up next would be the feature at any track with three of the entrants, Foiled Again, McWicked and Bettor's Edge accounting for more than $9 million. There were all nearly upstaged by That's My Opinion who bull rushed the field just past the McWicked-led 57.2 half and opened up by three or four. Ultimately, the old warrior Foiled Again (Gingras) saved the day by tracking That's My Opinion down near the wire in 1:51 flat and he looked good doing it. It's good to see him back.   That's My Opinion sells as Hip #84 tomorrow, he may be the sleeper of the sale.   JK Endofanera (Gingras) and Somewhere In LA (Brett Miller) were also getting in some work before the Graduate leg, the former zipping around the oval in 1:50 off a half in 56 for Gingras going under the wire four or five in advance of his chief rival.   Three year old pacer King Of Delight closed it out with a 1:51.3 win for trainer/driver Richie Silverman over Dream's Beachboy and the sale-bound Suchasenseofhumor (Hip #54) who set the fractions and held well late.   Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15pm and it will be accompanied by the annual Food Truck battle known as JerseyFest.   Royal Treason (Race 1 Baby race)     Mikkeli Hanover (Race 2 Baby race)     Yankee Moonshine (Race 3 Baby race)     Stolen Glimpse  (Race 4 Baby race)     Toys Is Ours (Race 5 qualifier)     Wild Honey (Race 6 qualifier)     Gural Hanover (Race 7 qualifier)     Foiled Again (Race 8 qualifier)     JK Endofanera (Race 9 qualifier)     Well Hello There (Race 10 qualifier)     King Of Delight (Race 11 qualifier)     Meadowlands Media Relations Department    

Three invitationals headline a star-studded program of harness racing at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, each going for a purse of $150,000. The Jerry Taylor Invitational for colt and gelding pacers is race ten on the fourteen race program.   Jerry Taylor was a prominent horse owner for many years, owning horses like Devil's Adversary, Exotic Earl, Sunny Disposition, Mister Karamea, Sands A Flyin, among others.   George Morton Levy winner Domethatagain drew post three in the field of eight.   The son of Bettors Delight had a perfect trip behind defending champ PH Supercam before gunning him down in the stretch, pacing the mile in 1:51.1, just one-fifth of a second off the stakes record at Yonkers.   Millionaire Dancin Yankee is making his ninth start of the season for Baron Racing and Richard Lombardo.   The 7-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser is looking to regain the form of last season, where he won eighteen of twenty-nine starts, highlighted by a world record performance (1:48.4) in the Gerrity Pace at Saratoga.   Two-time millionaire Clear Vision drew post seven in Sunday's event.   The multiple-stakes winner is looking for his first win of the season, finishing on the board in four straight starts against open competition for trainer Ron Burke.   The field also includes 2013 Art Rooney winner Doctor Butch (post 1), millionaire and Levy Consolation winner Sapphire City (post 2), Jimmy Takter trained pacer Great Vintage (post 4), Bamond Racing's Mach It So (Post 5), and 2014 Canadian Derby up setter Modern Legend (post 8).   The Betsy Ross Invitational for pacing mares is race eleven on the all-star program.   Multiple Dan Patch and O'Brien award winner Anndrovette will be looking to add to her $3 million dollar bankroll.   Drawing post two for this event, the forty-two time winner, trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is looking to go back-to-back in the Betsy Ross.   She also won this event in 2011.   Yagonnakissmeornot drew post six.   The 6-year-old daughter of The Panderosa is just shy of one million dollars in career earnings.   The Rene Allard trainee is coming into this race off back-to-back wins including a narrow win in the Chip Noble Pace at Miami Valley.   She finished a close second after setting the tempo in the Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers three starts back.   The field also includes Ron Burke trainee Sayitall BB (post 1), who had a tremendous season in 2014, thirty-time winner Radar Contact (post 3), Jerseylicious (post 4), Table Talk (post 5), who suffered a heart-breaking loss to Yagonnakissmeornot in the Chip Noble in Ohio, Ooh Bad Shark (post 7), and For The Ladies N (post 8).   The Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for trotters is race twelve on the program.   It features perhaps the most anticipated matchup in all of harness racing as superstar mare Bee A Magician squares off against the great Father Patrick.   Bee A Magician drew post three for the event, with wins against the boys in her first three starts of the season.   She is the only female to win the Cutler Memorial, which she did easily in her last start.   Approaching three million in career earnings, she looks to be in top form heading into this affair.   Jimmy Takter trainee Father Patrick (post 6) has qualified well at The Meadowlands in preparation for his 4-year-old season.   The multi stakes winner put an exclamation point on his unforgettable 2014 season, with a win in the Breeders Crown.   He is making his first start of the season.   The field also includes Lindy's Tru Grit (post 1), Ron Burke trainee Dw's NY Yank (post 2) who is making his 100th start of his career, three time millionaire Market Share (post 4), Meladay's Monet (post 6), millionaire Classic Martine (post 7), and Bourbon Bay (post 8).   Sunday will be Family Day at Harrah's Philadelphia.   There will be family friendly activities including prize giveaways and much more.   The Riverview Terrace will be open for lunch from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM.    Michael Bozich

Delray Beach, FL – Trainer Erv Miller has sent five horses into the Sunshine Meadows/OnGait.com online mixed harness horse sale set for Tuesday, April 7. The sale starts with a live broadcast beginning at 2:00 pm with some of the horses sold live on the internet with an auctioneer. Erv Miller entered one three-year-old and four two-year-olds in training. The three-year-old pacing filly is Party Rocks, a late blooming daughter of Rockin Image who was third in 1:58 in her first qualifier last month at Pompano Park. Starting bid will be $12,000. Graceful Vision is the possible sales topper with a starting bid of $45,000. The pacing filly by PA sire Yankee Cruiser and according to Erv Miller “is a VERY NICE filly and does it right. She has been a mile in 2:18 and does it right. We purchased at a reasonable price and are looking to turn a profit.” You can view yearling sale video of Graceful Vision at www.yearlingvideos.com/horses/797-graceful-vision Wisecrack is a pacing filly by PA Sire Western Ideal with an opening tag of $12,000. Miller said she should make a nice racehorse and possible Stallion Series filly. Wealthy Master is a big trotting colt by Lucky Chucky who is NY eligible and needs time to grow into himself. Currently turned out at Chris Coyle’s farm in NC. His starting bid is $7,500. Here is video of him as a yearling www.winbakfarm.com/player/index.asp?id=470&sale=HAR  The fifth horse entered is Indiana bred trotting filly, Lisa On Top. She is sired by Swan For All. The stable has four other IN bred fillies that show more promise and she needs time to grow. She is listed to start at $6,500. For more information and race lines you can go to www.ongait.com/stallionbreedingsandsharessale.asp  You can also contact the Erv Miller Stable at 407-230-6046 to set up a time to come to the farm and see them in action. There is still plenty of time to enter the online sale. Cost is just $100 to register and a 3% commission if the horse brings the opening bid price. For information go to www.ongait.com or call Maurice Chodash at 800-240-7223.Top of Form From Sunshine Meadows/OnGait.com Mixed Sale

DOVER, Del.--- Jebswesternshark, last week's 10-1 up setter, made believers of doubters by not only winning the week's top pace, the $26,000 Delaware Special, but did it from outside post 8 racing without cover to score a 1:52.4 on a windy and raw Thursday, Feb. 19 at Dover Downs. Harness racing driver Corey Callahan continues his strong driving with five winners. George Dennis drove the 8-1 Western Hanover - Shake Away 10-year-old gelding, trained by Kevin Lare for owner Frank Chick, to his fifth consecutive victory. The streak began at the $15,000 claiming level through a $25,000 tag prior to last week's come-from-behind win. Just A Jolt with Vic Kirby came on in the stretch to finish second in front of Mustang Art and Art Stafford Jr. Jebswesternshark is now fived for six this year earning $40,350 with his 43rd lifetime win while banking $256,279 in his career. Delaware Special made it two-in-a-row winning one of two Open/Handicap paces for young horses. Corey Callahan chalked up his fifth of six winning drives taking the Dragon Again-Dashaway Hanover gelding to the top en route to a 1:54.4 triumph in the $15,500 event. Doug Lewis trains the winner for owner Howard Taylor. It was his second win in three starts while accruing second-place finishes in four other starts this meet. Major Bucks (Toby Lynch) was runner-up with Elite Awards (Eddie Davis Jr.) the third horse. In a $16,000 edition, Invictus Hanover, a Yankee Cruiser - I Sparkle gelding handled by Trace Tetrick, recorded his first win of the year notching a 1:54.4 decision in the second race for 4&5-Year-Olds. Scalped (Montrell Teague) was a close second. Four Staces (Callahan) never saw the rail and still finished third. Callahan got One Stop Deal up in to win one of two $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Male paces for Kapildeo Singh and Yves Sarrazin. Dylan Davis conditions the Western Ideal - Artstopper gelding who posted his second straight win. Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan) and Fire In The Belly (Kirby) were second and third respectively. The photo finish camera was necessary to determine the winner of the other $14,000 section. Maximum Terror had his nose on the line from among a blanket four-horse finish in 1:55.4. Owned and trained by Ben Stafford, the gelding was driven by Ben Stafford Jr. to his second win in his last three races. The Western Terror-HTF Cocoa four-year-old bested 40-1 Alexis Style (Russ Foster), second, and Mister Truth (Tony Morgan), third, with Panic Disorder (Callahan) accepting fourth. Callahan, with five winners, now has won 20 races in the last three days. Allan Davis, George Dennis and Trace Tetrick won two races each. Friday and Saturday are "dark" days. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

The Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) has numerous breedings for harness racing stallions standing in various states. These breedings are being sold and not auctioned to protect the value of the stallions. Some stallions are Yankee Cruiser, So Sureal, Shark Gesture, Rocknroll Dance, Rock N Roll Heaven, McArdle, Lucky Chucky, Jurgen Hanover, Big Stick Lindy, Real Desire and many more. This is SRF's most important and consistent source of funding, which comes from yearly and lifetime breeding sales and donations. The revenue generated helps provide for the care, boarding, feeding, veterinary, farrier, dental, worming, rehabilitation and re-training of 198+ Standardbreds, 125 of which are permanently retired due to age and/or injury. This is SRF's 26th year as the only organization solely dedicated to the Standardbred breed, the only one of its kind also providing full care for horses when adoption is not possible, and following their welfare in every home diligently for life. SRF has served thousands of Standardbreds, and helped hundreds of children through its award winning programs. Breeding donations, and SRF's sale of such gifts make a substantial difference. To donate or purchase a breeding please contact Tammy Hollock at 732-446-4422 or email accounting@srfmail.com. SRF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and gifts to SRF are tax-deductible. Tammy Hollock

From where trainer harness racing Linda Toscano sits, JK Patriot looks like his mom. More importantly, the 4-year-old pacer acts like her too. Toscano trained JK Patriot's dam, JK Majorette, a stakes-winning three-quarter sister to millionaire Yankee Cruiser, in 2007 and 2008. Now she conditions JK Patriot for owners Matt Bencic and Sam Schillaci, and is preparing the gelding for Saturday's $56,000 Escort Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands. "They have a similar gait," Toscano said about JK Patriot and JK Majorette. "Sitting behind them, his rear end is the exact same as hers was. "She was a good race mare for me, so to get to race him is kind of a cool thing. He's got a really good desire and she was the same way too. She wanted to win." JK Patriot will start Saturday's nine-horse Escort final from post eight with driver David Miller. JK Patriot, who had a win and a second-place finish in the two preliminary rounds of the series, is 6-1 on the morning line. Toscano also will send Khan Blue Chip into the final. Khan Blue Chip, who had a dead-heat win and second-place finish in his preliminary rounds, is 4-1 from post three with driver Andy Miller. The entry of Major Uptrend and Brick Bazooka is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by What I Believe at 2-1. JK Patriot and Khan Blue Chip both were trained by Schillaci before being sent to Toscano for the Escort. JK Patriot has won seven of 24 career races and $59,709. In his last nine starts, dating back to early November, he has five victories and four second-place finishes. Khan Blue Chip, owned by William Heinz and Jack Heinz, has won six of 16 lifetime races and $38,739. "They both came from Jodi and Sammy Schillaci; I babysit for them in the wintertime, and I'm happy to do it," Toscano said. "They're good horsemen and they always send horses that look great and are ready to do exactly what they tell me they're ready to do. "(JK Patriot) was good every start before I got him and he's been holding his form. He's been very sharp. (Khan Blue Chip) is a fast horse. He was unlucky in his first start -- he got caught in -- but finished up good. Last week he raced great." Last week, JK Patriot won his Escort division - which was contested at 1-1/8 miles - by two lengths over Major Uptrend, who was eventually disqualified and placed 11th. Toscano believes the extra distance might help the horse in this week's traditional mile race. "It can't hurt," Toscano said. "I don't think (the horses) notice a difference unless they're on the lead or on the outside. But there's no question it will leg one up. When I'm trying to leg one up training, it's not uncommon for me to go a mile-and-a-half, so why wouldn't it help." Major Uptrend, Company Man and What I Believe each won a first-round Escort division. JK Patriot was joined by Khan Blue Chip and What I Believe, who finished in a dead heat, with victories in round two. What I Believe will start from post four with Ron Pierce driving for trainer Ron Burke. Major Uptrend, who went off stride last week in the race won by JK Patriot, leaves from post five with Corey Callahan at the lines, also for Burke. Major Uptrend is coupled with Brick Bazooka, trained by Larry Remmen, because of common ownership. Company Man, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., drew post one and is 6-1 with driver Tim Tetrick. "It's a good group," Toscano said. "I think the trip will win it. That's what I like about the (JK) Patriot horse; he doesn't seem to need one. The outside hasn't hurt him too much and he's been first up for a long ways. He kind of does what he needs to do. "But there are some really nice horses in there and I think whoever gets the best trip is probably going to be the victor." By Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA

Diamond Creek Farm has announced that the initial book for 2014 harness racing "Pacer of the Year" and runner-up for Horse of the Year, Sweet Lou, is now full and closed. “We expected a great response, and that’s certainly what we got,” said Diamond Creek’s owner Adam Bowden. “It seems like this horse’s charisma equals his credentials, and his popularity on the racetrack pretty much just transferred over straight to the breeding shed. “With the quality of the mares he’ll be bred to, his first crop of yearlings should rival those of any horse out there,” he added. Sweet Lou retired to stud at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania after his 5-year-old season with earnings of more than $3.4-million and a World Record mark of 1:47 taken on a five-eighths mile track. He is a son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future, also the dam of $2.7-million winner and World Champion Bettor Sweet. “I think that sometimes people primarily see Sweet Lou as a champion free for all pacer, which is true of course, but the fact that he was also a World Champion, Breeders Crown winner, and divisional Pacer of the Year as a 2-year-old is sometimes overlooked,” Bowden said. “We think he has everything it takes to be a tremendous sire.” The multiple World Record-holder--and first horse to ever pace six consecutive sub-1:48 winning miles--was campaigned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr and Phillip Collura and trained by Ron Burke. Breeders and fans may follow the continuing career of the horse many called “The Great White Blaze” on Twitter @greatwhiteblaze. Sweet Lou - 2014 Ben Franklin - Mohegan Sun Pocono Diamond Creek Farm

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 12, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Pace was won by a course-shifting Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $6.20). Unhurried from post position No. 5, "Robin" watched" as Dune in Red (Austin Siegelman) stung 4-5 choice Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett) before releasing that one. It was a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and :56.2 intermission when Charisma Hanover (Dan Dube) moved from fourth. A quick :27.3 third quarter (1:24) seemingly separated the leader and the pursuer from the rest of the gang, as Robin Cruiser-racing from second-up-gapped. It was "Sue" taking a length lead into the lane, but the fast fray was taking its toll on the leading duo. They began to tire as Robin Cruiser closed ranks, ducking inside and picking off the people's choice late in a slow final quarter. The margin was three-quarters of a length in 1:53.1. Charisma Hanover was third, with Uf Dragon's Queen (Mark MacDonald) and Palm Patrol (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. Dune in Red was last among the half-dozen with Cooking the Books an early-evening scratch. For second choice Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Julie Miller, was her ninth win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16, with the triple returning $48.80 The Raceway's live season concludes with programs Saturday (post time 7:10 PM) and Sunday (post time just after 11 AM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Sectionline Yankee, with Dan Noble in her sulky for the first time, went coast-to-coast in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $10,000 Mares Open pace on Friday night. In the process, the daughter of Yankee Cruiser eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau for the 2014 season on the strength of a 9-7-4 scorecard from 34 starts. The money-making homebred, owned by Harold Lee Bauder, Harold L. Bauder and Michael Dixon and trained by Steve Bauder, now has banked $344,450 in her illustrious career. Noble stepped off the gate in a tone-setting :26.3 opening panel, then stopped the middle station teletimers in :55.3 and 1:24 before closing the deal in 1:53.1. Betit To Getit (Kyle Ater) put up a good fight in the stretch but ended up one-half length short. Stucklikeglue (Greg Grismore) also was lapped on at the wire, just another neck behind in third. Driver Jason Brewer, who was enjoying an outstanding inaugural season at Dayton, broke his arm in a morning training accident at his nearby farm and is likely out of action through the end of the meet on December 27. The 36-year-old reinsman is currently fifth in the dash standings with 54 wins during the first 48 nights. Brewer's father Jeff is ranked second in the trainer's standings with 29 wins and an impressive .400 UTRS average during the current Dayton stand. From the press box at Dayton Raceway  

Sweet Lou made the final start of his illustrious career a memorable one as he dominated a field of world class harness racing pacers in capturing the $500,000 final of the TVG FFA Series at the Meadowlands Saturday night. Moving first-over to take command from Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) at the first quarter in :26.2, driver Ron Pierce put Sweet Lou on the lead for good in his final race. They led to the half mile in :54 as stable mate Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) came first-over and those two battled to the three-quarters in 1:21.3, but Sweet Lou was the strong horse as he was able to pull away down the stretch to win with ease by three and one-half lengths in an eye-popping 1:48 mile. Foiled Again held for second with Clear Vision (Tim Tetrick) third. The first three finishers all trained by Ron Burke. A five-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruise, Sweet Lou was a world champion at age 2 and is still the fastest two-year-old in history at 1:49 and was the winner of the Dan Patch Horse of the Year award in his division. He will now retire from racing to become a breeding stallion in 2015. Sweet Lou closed out his career with 11 wins in 2014, a total of 33 career wins and lifetime earnings of $3,478,894 for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. He paid $3.60 to win. Sweet Lou In the third race $49,000 three-year-old colt pace mini-series, Journeyman and driver Yannick Gingras powered their way to the front after the half mile marker and then held the field at bay, winning by one length in 1:50.1. Caviart Chase (Ron Pierce) was first on the lead, then Hall Bro (Matt Kakaley) took command after an opening quarter mile in :26.3. Journeyman then burst to the lead by the half mile in :54.1, leading to the three-quarters in 1:23 as Caviart Luca (Brett Miller) charged up first-over and then held game through the stretch to be second. Gold Rocks (Tim Tetrick) closed well to be third. Sired by American Ideal, it was the fifth win this year for Journeyman, who is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura. He paid $2.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 21, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by a cone-skimming Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $15.40). Unhurried early from post position No. 6, he watched as slight 2-1 favorite Coffee Addict (Dan Dube) step around Jonsie Jones (Greg Merton). After early intervals of 27-seconds and :56.3, Let's Go Higher (Eric Carlson) moved from third. That one harassed the leader in and out of the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Coffee Addict dealt with that interloper, taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. However, she was about to give it up, leading to a blanket finish. Robin Cruiser, fourth along the cones, dove deep inside and prevailed, whipping UF Dragon's Rocket (Mark MacDonald, three winners Friday) by a three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. Last week's victress, Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett), closed from last to grab third, with Coffee Addict and Jonsie Jones settling for the minor awards. The five cashers were separated by a length-and-a-half at the wire. It was a change of tact for "Robin," who was snapped on the money in her last two starts at odds of 3-1 and 3-5. For fifth choice Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Julie Miller, was her eighth win in 29 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $125.50, the triple returned $510 and the superfecta paid $2,243. Note that since no one hit Friday's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,093.98 (50-cent base wager, races 5 through 9). The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the third of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Ducker, for Yonkers Raceway

 Russell Williams, vice-president of the famous nursery Hanover Shoe Farms and a director on the boards of many of harness racing's top organizations, and Charles Keller III, who carried on the tradition of his father's famous Yankeeland Farm and also continues to serve the sport on many of its top organizations' boards, have been announced as the finalists for the 2014 Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award, it has been announced by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). After the various chapters of USHWA submitted nominations for the award, the highest honor USHWA bestows based on voting only by its members and given for outstanding achievement in/service to the sport, the nominees were sent to the Association's directors, who voted to winnow down the candidates to the top two. Williams and Keller will now be voted on by the entirety of USHWA during the annual Dan Patch Awards balloting honoring the year's stars, both equine and human; that balloting will be conducted in early December. Williams, the grandson of Hanover's founder Lawrence Sheppard, plays a major part in the operation of the world's leading Standardbred-producing farm, where he keeps his own small but select band of broodmares (he is the breeder of the million-dollar-winning top three-year-old colt Nuncio). He is also vice chairman of the U.S. Trotting Association, the sport's supervisory organization, and a trustee of the American Horse Council and the Harness Racing Museum. Williams is also a noted "equine philanthropist," financing the possibility of many Standardbreds being able to live out their lives with dignity, including retired Hanover broodmares. Keller, the son of noted Yankees baseball player "King Kong" Keller, took over operation of Yankeeland Farms, which his father established, in 1990 until the farm's closing in 2006. The farm bred two Hambletonian winners, Muscles Yankee (1998) and Yankee Paco (2000), and it also bred Yankee Blondie, the dam of 2009 winner Muscle Hill, along with countless other divisional champions. It has produced the outstanding sires Yankee Glide and Yankee Cruiser, and has been the cradle of four Breeders Crown winners Keller is the chairman of the executive committee of the Hambletonian Society, a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum, and a former director of the U. S. Trotting Association. The Bergstein/Proximity winner, along with the awards for the best of 2014, will be given at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards dinner on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld; more details, including on accommodations, will be forthcoming soon. USHWA

Sweet Lou will be honored Saturday, November 8 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in a special ceremony.  The powerhouse pacer dominated in a World Record performance on Sun Stakes Saturday, June 28, with a time of 1:47, the fastest mile ever paced on a 5/8 mile track. The son of Yankee Cruiser has won 10 of 17 starts this year, with those 10 coming consecutively, and all in sub-1:49 fashion.   He’s owned by Burke Racing Stable; Weaver Bruscemi LLC;  Larry Karr; and Phil Collura, and trained by Ron Burke.  His connections will be on hand to escort Sweet Lou to the Winner’s Circle following the 6th race. Starting at 6:30pm, fans may pick up their official Sweet Lou hat at the Trackside Concession Stand on the apron, located in the lower Grandstand, with their Racing Rewards card and valid ID, one per fan, while supplies last.  The hat is in Burke Racing Stable colors, and boasts the pacer’s 1:47 time under his name.  Fans are asked to wear their hat and be outside the Winner’s Circle to greet the champion pacer as he makes his way to the circle for his ceremony.  Post Time for the night is 6:30pm., and racing continues at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights until November 22. JENNIFER STARR

Sectionline Yankee upsets in $25,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace at Scioto Downs with a track record equaling performance of 1:50.2. She now shares the track record with Betterluvnexttime. The 5-year old mare by Yankee Cruiser out of Aquatic Yankee is trained by Steve Bauder for owners, Harold Lee Bauder, Michael Dixon and Harold Bauder of Ohio. Sectionline Yankee was driven by Greg Grismore and started from post one in the field of eight and was 6-1 on the morning line. Continual Velocity and Chris Page left for command from post eight when the wings folded along with inside leavers, She's Shocking and Novascotia Hanover. Novascotia Hanover and Tony Hall cleared to the front before the quarter that was clocked in a hot :26.1. She's Shocking and Kayne Kaufmann took the pocket ride before being shuffled to third when the favorite, Continual Velocity and Chris Page made a quarter move. Sectionline Yankee was sitting fourth on the rail at the half that was paced in :54.1. Grismore decided to make his move, pulling first up down the backside with Eve Marie Seelster and Kyle Ater in tow. Grismore applied the heavy pressure to the three quarters clocked in 1:22.2. The battled continued down the stretch before Sectionline Yankee pulled 3/4 of a length clear of Continual Velocity and Eve Marie Seelster completed the trifecta. Sectionline Yankee returned $18.20 to her supporters while increasing her bankroll to just under $315,000. The co-feature for the Saturday night card didn't disappoint either. Kanaris and Aaron Merriman set a new track record of 1:48.3 for a 4-year old gelding on the 5/8 mile oval in the $25,000 Open Pace. The previous record of 1:49.4 was set this year by Full Code and Beach Memories. Kanaris is the son of Panspacificflight and Thermopylae. He's trained by Joe Seekman for Tripoli Stable of Illinois. This victory crushed his own career best of 1:51.2 and pushed his lifetime earnings over $200,000. Kanaris started from post seven in the field of eight, but that didn't deter Merriman from leaving. They cleared inside leaver, Beach Memsories and Josh Sutton before the first turn. The first quarter was paced in :26.1. Sutton wasn't content to take the two hole trip, he pulled at the quarter to take over command. They paced single file to the half, clocked in :54.1. Ardyne Ace and Randy Tharps started their rally, pulling first up from third spot and Big Risk, driven by Tony Hall followed suit. The fast pace didn't let up. Beach Memories flew by the three quarters in 1:21.1 with Kanaris in tow. Merriman popped the ear plugs and waited for the stretch to make his move. The two paced 5-lengths clear of their foes and Kanaris had the upper hand to win by a nose over Beach Memories. His stablemate, Santa Fe Beachboy paced home in :27.2 to grab the show spot. The final week of racing in the 2014 season resumes on Wednesday (September 24) post time 6:30 pm. From Scioto Downs Racino

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